Sunday, 28 December 2008

Raise your hand against smacking

Christmas time is the time of the year to spend with our loved ones, but anyway, children are the most important and the ones who live it with most passion... So it is a good moment, to spread the message of the new initiative of the Council of Europe.

There is a campaign on Spanish TV that I love. It is the campaign against corporal punishment for children, "Raise your hand against smacking" launched by the Council of Europe.

No religion, economic situation or "educational" method can justify hitting, smacking, spanking, abusing, humiliating, or any other practice that violates a child's dignity. It is internationally recognised in human rights law that children have a right to protection from all forms of violence, including corporal punishment in all settings – home, school, penal systems, care institutions. (Nothing can justify violence toward children on

Monday, 15 December 2008


Short video on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on site


A quick burst of festive spirit, as Michael Rosen visits Charles Dickens' London home to explore his Christmas legacy.

Michael Rosen, Children's Laureate visits 48 Doughty St, the elegant townhouse in London where Dickens and his family once lived.

Now a museum, Michael looks at how the house could have inspired characters from Dickens' Christmas classic A Christmas Carol and views memorabilia from the time it was written.

The programme will give students and teachers an insight into how Dickens helped shape the Christmas we know today, as well as being a way to inject a bit of Christmas spirit in the classroom.

Read it here.

Learn more about A Christmas Carol here.
And here too

Sunday, 14 December 2008

More methodology

Here you have some interesting tips on methodology. They are really good pieces of advice for language teachers. I strongly recommend this reading.

Orientaciones metodológicas. Junta de Andalucía.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 10th December is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

United Nations Office of the High Comissioner for Human Rights.


Read the related news on United Nations website.
Visit the Council of Europe related news website.
Read the related news on Unesco website too.

Unesco has developed six internationally-agreed education goals that are aimed to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. Read a short presentation for children in my Primary English blog.

Watch this video by Amnesty International.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Teaching English as a foreign language to children

Tomorrow we are doing a lesson on English teaching. We will comment on two basic documents, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the Primary English syllabus of the Balearic Islands.

But anyway, I would like to highlight some points that I always try to follow in my Primary English lessons. I strongly recommend the following pieces of advice:

  1. Start working oral skills. Example: I like fish. It is good for me,
  2. Sing - use songs to practise and learn vocabulary and grammar patterns
  3. Storytelling. Examples: Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan in Neverland
  4. Use pictures, gestures and body to explain meanings. Example: What's the weather like today?,
  5. Do not translate
  6. Use English as much as you can, especially at the lowest levels.
  7. Introduce L1 only in difficult learning activities for example, when children have to think about grammar or about the way language works.
  8. After having introduced oral skills, start with written skills
  9. Write and draw lists of vocabulary
  10. Check previous knowledge before introducing new contents. Example: Are there any computers in our school?
  11. Integrate vocabulary into the related grammar patterns. Example:Ibizan animals
  12. Use the language learned to communicate -although it is a simple and basic idea. Example: A tour around my town,
  13. Take advantage of the festivals during the school year: Halloween, All Saints Day, Christmas
  14. Introduce universal topics to meet CLIL standpoints: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Children's Day
  15. Ask your students to do projects: specific final tasks in which students use all their language knowledge to achieve a goal -although it is a little goal. Examples: Introducing myself (oral project), My life (written project)
  16. Ask your students to pay attention to the Art part of their final assignment/project/task. Example: My monster
  17. Engage your students in doing their own Language Portfolio -electronic or not. Examples: Primary blogfolios
  18. Use ICT to support your constructivist methodology
  19. Work on children's attitude towards language learning and other important concepts: autonomous language learner, lifelong language learning, self-assessment. See the Portfolio web site to develop these standpoints.
  20. Be a blogger. Create a blog for your subject. Example: We like English!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Interesting documents

Here you have got some interesting documents on e-learning:





And another really interesting matrix:


Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 by the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, Knowledge, Skills and Tools for the Learning 2.0 Age

Technology Integration Matrix

What is the Technology Integration Matrix?

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students.

Technology Integration Matrix

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Obama on Education

I think it could be a great language and teaching practice if we checked what Obama has said about Education during his compaign.

Would it be possible that a Spanish politician could say the same? Would Spanish teachers accept a plan like this?

Not bad...

Saturday, 15 November 2008


The Universal Children's Day is on 20th November. Post this picture on your blog to join the blogcampaign against pederasts.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Teaching through competence-based curriculum

Here are some documents about competences.
Our new law of education, LOE, focus on competence teaching as you all know.
But the Council of Europe has been developing the competence theory for a long time.
Here you've got some interesting documents about key competences.


Council conclusions on the European on the European Indicator of Language Comptenece

Don't forget the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages as it focus on linguistic comptence as we have said in older posts.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Saturday, 11 October 2008


is a new elearning platform. It's one of a number of "rapid elearning" tools now avaliable on the market thanks to web 2.0.
It's an elearning course authoring tool, which means that you can do your own lessons. It's quite complete as it supports video and audio, tests and it doesn't seem to be very difficult to use.
Anyway it's just another tool to give your students more learning opportunities but you cannot get any information of their work and marks in the course.

Here you have got two pretty good examples:

Begginer guide to online course design -What is online elearning?

Bill Gates steps down course

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Happy Teachers' Day!

Today is WORLD TEACHERS' DAY! So, enjoy your day!

Teachers matter! is the slogan of this year by UNESCO.

"Teacher shortage, insufficient training, society’s lack of respect for the profession and the policies needed to tackle these challenges are the emphasis of World Teachers’ Day on 5 October 2008." (taken from UNESCO education website)

Read the World Teacher's Day message 2008 by UNESCO.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A new school year!

The school year is about to start!
Let's start singing as I would do with my Primary pupils. I have chosen a special song, very popular and meaningful for people but even more special for teachers.
Look at this video: Robbie Williams singing "My Way" (Frank Sinatra) at the Royal Albert Hall (London).
The audience is excited as we all may be now because of the new school year.
Let's transfer it into education too. I really believe that the sense of teaching , and the final goal, is that our children can grow as human beings and be able to live a happy life. So, that at any moment in their lives, not necessarily at the end, they can say about themselves that they have lived "their way".
Afther this simple thought just enjoy the song with the fantastic voice of Robbie Williams.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

European Day of Languages

26th September is European Day of Languages, launched by the Council of Europe in 2001.

The Day has a wide variety of aims that we could summarize as follows:

# Increasing plurilingualism and intercultural understanding.

# Promoting -preserving and fostering- the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.

# Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school for all kind of puposes (study, professional, mobility and pleasure.

The European Day of Languages is addressed to all citizens, but I think that we, as teachers, have to feel especially concerned about the Day and its message.

Let's all spread the slogan in our schools:
Celebrating linguistic diversity,
plurilingualism, lifelong language learning

Great statement!

I have found this statement and I really love it:

Technologies should be like the sails of a ship
if well woven and operated by skillful sailors, the captain only has to indicate the direction.

You can find it in the following web: seed
Could we transfer it to our schools?
Are the sailors the teachers in schools? Is the captain the headteacher? Could ICT be truly integrated in schools by teachers able to manage it and the headteacher only be needed to coordinate the implementation?

You may also enjoy this other web: red-ink doctoral school.
The goal of Red-ink is the understanding of eduational technologies and e-learning.

Monday, 1 September 2008

First day ppt

Look at this powerpoint presentation. It seems to be the introduction of a class teacher in the first day of class. Notice the organisation of every important item such as behaviour, homework and activities in class. Really interesting, well done but maybe too strict and harsh.

Find more videos like this on Classroom 2.0

Teachers today

Do you really think that teachers do all this today? Or maybe, is it that teachers today should do all this?
Can we really change the world?

Google Reader

How does it work?

Friday, 29 August 2008


LOE in English

Balearic Island Curriculum

Primary English syllabus of the Balearic Islands

European Language Portfolio

I'm really fond of the European Language Portfolio proejctor ELP -PEL, as we say in Catalan or Spanish.

There is a lot to say about it and a load of information on the Internet. So, let's check some of the most interesting sites about it.

The ELP was born as a project to promote language learning throughout Europe.
ELP- Council of Europe

Then, each country has developed its own specific ELP student material.
ELP- Spain

One of the most important documents written about ELP is the ELP guide for teachers and teacher trainers by David Little and Radka Perclová.

In this site you can find all the main documents about ELP, the Recommendations of the Council of Europe and important essays on how to use it as a teacher.

Another site with lots of documents about ELP.

Daniel Cassany has also been researching the implementation and advantatges of ELP in our schools. Here you can see one of his ppt presentations about this topic.

Finally, it should be said that we ought to have started talking about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). It is the main theoretical framenwork for all those people who are studying or learning a language. Therefore, the ELP has to be considered as part or at least as the practical part of all what the Common European Framework means.

Daniel Cassany

Daniel Cassany is probably one of the best authors in the world about teaching languages. His work is focused on teaching both a mother tongue and a second language, and is especially aimed at teaching writing skills.

He is also one of the best investigators in the European Language Portfolio.

Look at his web and enjoy learning how to teach languages. You will be able to apply any of his articles, books and research to your lessons.

You can start by reading a bit of his essays. For example, this on-line article about writing compositions.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Great paintings

Now, look at this other video in

Great paintings video

Do you remember Sir Ken Robinson's speech? Do you agree with him? Do schools really kill children's creativity?

If you watch this video you'll see a great way of enhancing our children's creativity. Have you ever thought of integrating Art and paintings in your lessons? Have you ever thought about how a great painting could improve your teaching? In which subject of the Primary curriculum could you do a lesson like the one in the video? What aims would you have if you did a lesson like this one? What kind of activity would you ask your pupils to do?

Integrating ICT

Look at this video, in

Do you know what our schools are doing about ICT? Are we integrating ICT into all subjects of the curriculum? Are our Primary students learning ICT by using them in all lessons? Or, are they learning how to use ICT in specific subjects on ICT?

What do you think? Do you think that it is necessary to have a ICT as a subject? Or do you think, that using ICT in all subjects it is enough to learn how to use it too? Or, could be that both standpoints are complementary?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Digital chasm

Another easy and quick video about one of the negative consequences of ICT, that is the digital chasm.
Anyway, I don't feel the last statement in the video is suitable... they compare two facts that cannot be compared, both are different and both are important. What do you think?

Social networking

Listen to the explanation.

Rock ESL

A little naf but curious anyway!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Web 2.0 and languages

Let's see how the Web 2.0 can encourage our language students.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 in the classroom?
What does it mean?

What's the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?
Is there a dark side of the Web 2.0? Are these disadvantages great enough to stop us, as teachers, from using the Web 2.0?

Digital learners

There are so many videos about the way we teach and the way our students learn. Let's see some of them.

Our students are digital learners... are we engaging their interest?
If we learn by doing, what are we learning sitting all day?

Why are our schools still the same?

Learners 2.0. How do they learn?

Blogs in education

There is a lot of theory about blogging in education. Let's check it!

Read this article about getting started.BLOGS IN EDUCATION
Download the PDF document here.

Read the summary of the article Educational Blogging by Stephen Downs.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Stephen Downes

Stephen Down
is a philosopher of the Internet and Web 2.0.

In his site, there are lots of videos of him and presentations where he explains different relevant items on this topic.
Watch this video. It is just a single example of his thought and all the interesting stuff in his site.

I especially share some of his conclusions:
1. You are the centre of your own personal learning network.
2. And that the three principles expained in the video -interaction, usability and relevance- should guide not only the way we learn, but also the way we teach.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

A better Internet for a better world

Interesting reflection exercise about the way Internet shold work.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Second Life

Do you think Second Life can have an educative use?
Shall we avoid it or shall we benefit from Second Life?

Monday, 7 July 2008


What's a WebQuest?

It is research done by the students through the Internet. It is a longer research than the one done in Treasure Hunts.
They are given a task that has to be done through a guided process. At the end, the student has to hand in a sort of essay or project. The great difference in WebQuest is that the assessment has to be carefully planned.
It was first developed by Bernie Dodge.
In Spain, the two main people who have developed WebQuests are Isabel Pérez, especially English Webquests, and Sebastià Capella, who focuses on Maths and Science.

Definition in Wikipedia

Five rules for writing a great WebQuest by Bernie Dodge

Isabel Pérez Webquest in English

Treasure Hunts

What is a treasure hunt?

It is a little task in which students research a topic. They are given questions and the webs where to find answers. At the end, they will have to write a short essay with the answers to the questions.

Here you can see some examples:

Lots of examples here, at Isabel Pérez's site

My own examples

Monday, 23 June 2008

ICT teaching

Read this interesting document about ICT in Education Faculties.

Are Faculties of Education meeting the professional development needs of future and practising teachers?

Integrating ICT in teacher training: a challenging balance


CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning

CLIL fosters teaching English through a non-linguistic area.

CLIL compendium is an interesting web about CLIL:

Isabel Pérez's web is one of the best webs about CLIL, with a lot of ideas and resources:

Here you can find lots of interesting DU:

And I strongly recommend the following one:

Read the following document about CLIL:

Using languages to learn and learning to use languages
by David Marsh

Have a look at Macmillan Publisher's web about CLIL

The following video can be considered as a good example of how we could take advantage of a lot of multimedia material already created to learn English through a non-linguistic area, eg. science:

Check all the ppt presentations of the speeches in Palma, May 2008, in the WEIB site. The Conselleria d'Educació i Cultura de les Illes Balears offered a course on CLIL to teachers starting CLIL projects in the following school year.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Steve Jobs' speech

Listen to Steve Jobs' speech. He is one of the founders of Apple.
I love the last words of his speech.
To be a good teacher you have to believe in what you do, and how you do it.
Do you agree?

Sunday, 8 June 2008

New tools

Don't be afraid!
We all feel the same when faced with new tools.

The same video with subtitles.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


The classroom of the future has got up-to-date technology.

Apart from that, I think it's funny the way the classroom is organised. Listen to the video and try to find the points related to traditional pedagogy that this classroom should have.
Are our classrooms being built following these guidelines?

Monday, 2 June 2008

Do you teach or Do you educate?

What do you think? Do teachers teach or educate?
What do you want to do?

Technology or Methodology?

What is role of ICT in Primary lessons?

By the way, have you understood the video although you don't know Portuguese?
Of course, you have!
So, in all the other videos in English, please use all your communicative competence to understand the general meaning, as you have done in this video.

Education Today and Tomorrow

Which kind of teacher do you want to be?
Which kind of school do you want to work for?

Sunday, 1 June 2008

We don't need no education

Do you think that these kinds of feelings towards education would appear if teachers had another way of teaching?

Now, look at the title. Is it correct?
In fact, it isn't correct. You cannot use "no" with a verb in negative.
It should say: "We don't need any education".
Remember that in English two negatives are positive, just like in Maths. So, therefore, grammatically, the title means that we need education.
It is a common mistake among uneducated people. Using this pattern, they are laughing at the people who talk like this.